Monday, July 21, 2014

What's So Special About Church Camp? - Part 1

This is our week our church sponsors for Juniors (roughly ages 7-12, although this year we've got some older kids along). We've grown up going to church camp and for the past 11 years my husband has directed our Junior Camp (and I get to be his sidekick).

Camp is stressful, a lot of work, occasionally frustrating, and somewhat expensive. But despite those things it's also worth more than it costs. This week I hope to share a few of the reasons why, using the letters C.A.M.P.

Today: Choose.

Camp is a week of choices for the kids and the adults.

There are the relatively easy questions for the kids:
  • Cereal or hot breakfast?
  • Save my money for snack bar tonight or have a feast this afternoon?
  • Pick up my clothes or hope the bunk inspector won't notice?
  • Play dodgeball (again) or Shark Tag?
  • Swim or play a board game?
Then there are the slightly harder questions
  • Will I follow the rules?
  • Will I participate with a good attitude?
  • Will I listen to the classes? And let others listen too?
  • Will I include this girl I don't know in my group of friends?
  • Will I try my best even if I don't receive an award?
  • Will I be a good sport in dodgeball or will I resort to excuses? ("It didn't touch me, it touched my shirt!")
  • Will I grumble about the "no cell phones, no electronic devices" rule or will I take this chance to really unplug and focus on other things?
And then there are the choices with eternal consequences:
  • Will I ask questions about what it really means to follow Christ?
  • Will I grow in my walk with Him?
  • Will I give up a sin I've held onto?
  • Will I really focus on the memory work so I can always remember it or will I rush through it to earn a prize?
The chances to make choices come often at camp. The results of bad choices are usually readily apparent. The good choices help make camp a joy.

The adults at camp have choices too:
  • Will I be patient with these children even when it's a hot day and I only got five hours of sleep and I haven't had any coffee yet?
  • Will I choose to find something to encourage in each child instead of a fault to correct?
  • Will I lovingly, gracefully correct a child, if necessary, instead of snapping?
  • Will I go to the pool even though it's a long walk and I don't really care about swimming?
  • Will I referee yet another game of dodgeball even though some other counselor should really take a turn and I'm starting to feel put upon?
There are lots of choices to be made at camp, and some will have eternal consequences. That's reason number 1 why I think Church Camp is a great thing.

Did you attend camp as a kid? What choices did you make?

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